Your kids spend a lot of time at home, so it should be as safe as possible. Of course, kids are curious and want to explore the world around them. The best way is, of course, touching everything and putting random objects in their mouths. You might think your home is safe, but it could be a minefield for your kids. Accidents or injuries can occur almost everywhere, and our little ones can find the most unthinkable ways of hurting themselves. According to the Government of Canada, two Canadian children require hospitalization each day due to unintentional injury. A lot of these injuries happen at home. So it’s important to identify safety hazards and take precautions. Here are some tips that can make your home safer for your children.
Cutting paper by Nongbri Family
Outlets, Electrical Appliances, and Wires
Unused outlets and worn cords are obvious safety issues. Still, we might overlook them — and it’s important to keep in mind that electrical shock is a common cause of injury. Not only do kids love to touch everything, but they also enjoy sticking their fingers into all kinds of things — including electrical sockets. You should check that all unused electrical outlets are covered with plastic and that all electrical cords are properly isolated.
Plus, electrical appliances should be grounded and kept away from small children. TV sets, computers, and stereo equipment should be positioned against walls. It’s important that your kids are aware of the danger that electrical appliances pose, so you should teach them to understand the danger.
Meet the Flinstones by Amanda Tipton
People sometimes forget about heating appliances even though they’re very dangerous. Radiators, baseboard heaters, and any kinds of working fireplaces should be covered with childproof screens and secured with other barriers, such as a valve cover. Space heaters should never be placed where a child or pet could knock them over.
Loosened cords, long wires, and especially blind cords are extremely dangerous — especially for younger kids. A UK charity focused on safety issues, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, noted,
Most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months old, with the majority (more than half) happening at around 23 months.
Kids in this age group are already mobile, but their heads are still proportionately much heavier compared to adults. This makes them more prone to entanglement. Plus, their windpipes are smaller and more delicate, so they can suffocate more quickly.
Overloaded Outlet by State Farm
You should install blinds that don’t have a cord — especially in kids’ bedrooms. However, if you have longer blind cords, you should make sure there are cord holders and that the cords are fastened against a wall. Children’s beds, playpens, and highchairs shouldn’t be near windows with blinds or pull cords, and curtains should be kept short and out of reach. Don’t hang any toys, drawstring bags, or other objects where a small child could get caught near their bed.
One of the major causes of accidental death for babies is suffocation, and 60 per cent of these tragedies happen where babies sleeps. Infants can’t easily move or raise their heads when their noses and mouths get covered by pillows, blankets, or other objects.
Crib by Valentina Powers
Your baby’s crib shouldn’t include soft bedding, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or plush toys. I recommend using one light blanket that’s tucked underneath the ends of the mattress so that it creates a pocket. The blanket shouldn’t be long and shouldn’t reach higher than your baby’s chest so that it can’t be pulled over his or her face. The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so that there aren’t any gaps between it and the crib sides where the baby could get caught. Also, experts recommend placing the crib sufficiently far from lamps or other electrical appliances.
Most parents underestimate the danger that furniture and TVs pose to their youngest children. However, the majority of injuries to kids aged around ten happens by tipping over desks, cabinets, and bookshelves, according to the Child Injury Prevention Alliance (CIPA). Plus, research from Safe Kids Worldwide recorded a 31 per cent increase in TV tip-over injuries over the past ten years. Another study published in a U.S. journal, Pediatrics, pointed out that approximately 200,000 U.S. kids had to visit the emergency ward due to falling televisions over the past 20 years.
As soon as your baby starts to become mobile, he or she wants to explore everything and try to climb different pieces of furniture. In the first stages of learning to walk, he or she will try to cruise along furniture for support. Later, he or she will want to see what’s inside.
To protect your kids from toppling over large pieces of furniture such as bookshelves, dressers, or TV stands, you should secure them to the wall. Kids can easily open drawers to climb, and even heavy pieces of furniture can tumble under the front weight of opened drawers. It might be useful to lock cupboards and drawers with internal cupboard and drawer locks to prevent them from opening fully. These cupboard locks, which you can attach inside the cupboards and drawers, are available at almost every store with child safety products. Moreover, keep objects that your kids might want to reach — such as stuffed animals or books — low to prevent them from climbing the furniture.
On The Furniture by Clappstar
Small Objects, Food, and Medicine
Kids put almost everything in their mouths — especially small items such as coins, buttons, jewellery, or pins. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most choking deaths in children aged three and below are caused by toys and child products. The best prevention is to keep these items away from your kids. You should always check under the kitchen table, behind couch cushions, inside handbags and briefcases, or under other pieces of furniture to make sure there aren’t any objects that your kid could swallow or choke on. Plus, when purchasing toys, look for labels that warn about small parts that aren’t safe for children under three.
Get Down With The Sickness by Fernando Mafra
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the most common cause of non-fatal choking incidents is food — particularly nuts, hot dogs, and chunks of fruits or vegetables. It recommends storing food where small kids can’t reach. This applies to medicines, chemicals, and everything else that your young ones could swallow. Many medications are coated in different colours, drawing curious kids. Safe Kids Worldwide notes on its website,
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. Every year, more than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight minutes. Almost all of these visits are because the child got into medicines while their parent or caregiver wasn’t looking.
It’s therefore very important that you store your medications out of your kids’ reach and sight — and preferably tightly closed in child-resistant packages. Keep in mind that your kids can reach and swallow the medicine that’s in your purse or that a visitor brings into your home.
Wet by Jessica Lucia
Slipping, falling, drowning, hot water scalding, cutting on a sharp razor — the bathroom is full of danger for kids. A 2011 U.S. study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital reported that U.S. emergency departments had to deal with an estimated 791,200 bathtub- and shower-related injuries among kids younger than 18 between 1990 and 2007. The largest number of injuries involved kids who were two years old and children younger than four years, who altogether accounted for 54.3 per cent of all injuries.
First of all, make sure that all electrical appliances in the bathroom are away from water sources. An electric shock can cause serious injuries, so outlets in your bathroom should have ground fault circuit interrupters. If you have a baby, you should decrease your hot water heater temperature to 50 degrees, as warmer water can scald a young infant.
There should never be standing water in the tub or sink in a house where there are small children. Not only can they drown, but they can also more easily slip and fall. Speaking of falling, it might be useful if you install a grab bar in the bathroom. It will be very practical for your kids as well as for everyone else. To decrease the probability of slips and falls, you should also install a spout cover and use a non-slip mat in the tub or shower.
You should protect your children from their own curiosity — especially in the bathroom. Keep all your medications, cleaning supplies, razors, and other potentially harmful items out of reach, preferably in closed cabinets with childproof latches. A toilet lid should always be closed, and if you want to be even more cautious, you can install a toilet lid lock.
Ava in the sink by Shannon Gillespie
Windows and Balconies
Windows and balconies pose serious risks for children, who can easily fall when they’re trying to see outside. Kids are very curious about what’s behind windows — especially when the weather is nice or there are interesting noises coming from outside. So it’s important to prevent children from climbing up to windows and opening them.
The easiest way to climb up is using a bed or other pieces of furniture, so make sure that they’re at a reasonable distance. Also, all windows and balcony doors should be locked with childproof window latches and, if possible, windows should open from the top. Many people wrongly assume that their window screen will prevent their children from falling. This is a dangerous mistake, and Allyson Hewitt, executive director of Safe Kids Canada, warns,
Window screens will not protect your child. In fact, a window screen can easily give way to the weight of a small child. Toddlers are great climbers and love to look out windows but don’t understand the risks of falling. But there are things you can do to help keep children safe.
Rather than relying on window screens, install a proper safety device like a window guard or window stop. Plus, if you have a balcony, install safety guards across the entries and always keep the doors closed with child-safety mechanisms.
A perfect morning in our kitchen by Suzette
Securing furniture from falling, locking up dangerous items, and installing child-safe features in your house are important ways of preventing children’s accidents. You shouldn’t underestimate any details, as kids’ creativity and imagination are limitless. Unfortunately, this is especially true when it comes to injuries. Creating a kid-safe home isn’t only about implementing various safety measures but also about educating your children and raising their awareness of danger. The best form of prevention is a combination of childproof features and practical rules.